Journal, Organization

Computer

I keep my computer desktop clean. By doing so, I’m treating it like I would my actual desk. My office desk has a lamp, a coaster, and my computer sitting on it. Of course, there are times when there are other things on my desk like a pair of headphones, keys, or a wallet. But my baseline helps me avoid clutter.

When it comes to computer organization, I’ve read that keeping files off the desktop can help with RAM. However, with the amount of RAM available with even the base level laptops these days that may no longer be the case. So, I keep my desktop clean because everything on my computer has a place. If it doesn’t, I delete it.

I don’t look at a hard drive with a terabyte of space and think that gives me a license to store everything possible. I select the pictures I want to keep and discard the rest. I do the same with documents. The only thing I’m a little more liberal with is video footage. It can get pretty complicated sifting through these files. And if you delete the wrong ones, it can wreak havoc on your film project.

In keeping with my office desk metaphor, the file system in my computer is like the drawers in my desk. I keep the folders organized. I label and arrange them and create an “Archives” folder for projects and documents that are no longer current.

From time to time, I’ll scan documents, file them, and take that opportunity to put misplaced documents in the correct folder (including any stray file that may have made its way to the desktop). Then, I back up select files in the cloud, throw unnecessary downloads in the trash, and, finally, empty the trash.

As far as computer use is concerned, as often as possible, I try to make sure I’m working in only one program at a time. I save files and close programs that I’m not working in. To my knowledge, this is not a RAM issue, it’s just a personal choice. I don’t want to be distracted while I work.

Photo: Thomas Q

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Justin Meckes is a writer and filmmaker living in Chapel Hill, NC. His short stories have been published in various online journals and magazines. He has ghostwritten novels and is the author of several children's books. You can learn more about him at justinmeckes.com or by sending an email to contact@justinmeckes.com.